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9 Mum-Friendly Reasons to Sail Away on a Family Cruise

Picture this: It’s Christmas morning, everyone is happy, excited and ready for a day of fun and feasting. Except, you don’t have to lift a finger to make the magic happen. What? How?

This is not a fantasy mums, this is the reality of sailing away on a family cruise this Christmas. Bring it on, Santa!

Christmas is all about family, joy, frivolity and … chaos! So. Much. Chaos. If you’ve ever dreamed of escaping the mid-December madness and getting away from it all on a family cruise, you are not alone. Life with kids flies by fast, so don’t miss the boat on this one.

Here are nine reasons why heading out to sea is a brilliant idea – be it at Christmas or any other time of the year.


There’s a saying: You can please some of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time. Whoever coined that phrase had obviously never been on a family cruise. In truth, everybody is happy when they’re on a cruise!

While kids club keeps the littlies occupied, parents can enjoy a relaxing trip to the day spa, take in a show, or simply soak up the sun on the deck. Seriously, what’s not to love?

Meanwhile, the kids can get wet and burn off some energy as they head on over to Carnival WaterWorks™, their onboard waterpark. First up, there’s Carnival’s Twister Waterslide™, with hundreds of feet of spiraling awesomeness. Or take the plunge down an 11.3-meter verticle drop on the Green Lightning, one of the fastest, wettest rides you’ll find anywhere.

There’s also a smaller waterpark for the little ones, ensuring kids young and old have some epic water fun and we know that’s going to result in tired kids and a good night’s sleep!

Green Thunder water slide

Tweens and teens can ham it up on the basketball courts or try for top score in the gaming arcade. There’s even Club O2 specifically for kids 15-17 years – more below!

Overall, we think cruising on Carnival is the PERFECT holiday for families, especially given mum can put her feet up and relax and have a holiday too! Cruising actually allows for us mums to take a breather and become one of the guests, not just moving the everyday from one home to another … we actually get to be spoilt – no cooking, no dishes, housekeeping or even making beds (if you want to!) Just sit back and enjoy all the magic a cruise has to offer!

Taking the grandparents too? There’s a reason some people retire to a cruise ship. With lots of onboard activities and entertainment, Nan and Pop are guaranteed to have a ball. Plus, having all the family together for several blissful days will surely be the highlight of their life.

Plus, most often your fare includes your meals, onboard activities and, best of all, you don’t have to lift a finger! It’s the ultimate mum-cation and we love it!

Heck, you and hubby can even head for a cheeky refreshing beverage at one of the onboard piano bars, sports bars or cocktail bars. Seriously awesome!  Date night perhaps?

Alchemy Bar on board Carnival Cruises


Just because you’re on holidays, doesn’t mean you have to be with the kids 24/7.  We kind of like that idea, especially given it’s important to have some time to yourself. It is YOUR holiday too after all.

Each of Carnival’s ships features fully-supervised kids’ clubs. 

Starting with Camp Ocean, specifically for kids 2-11, there’s a wealth of fun and entertainment! arts and crafts, live entertainment and loads of games.

Club Penguin is specifically for kids 2-5 years,  and engage in activities like Musical Icebergs and Ocean Bingo… even learning a thing or two about buoyancy!

Kids 6 to 8, are the way-cool Stingrays, who might be found enjoying Pirate Game Night, making sea salt art or even designing their own aquarium.

Sharks is for the 9-11 year-olds really sink their teeth into playing Marine Life Trivia, creating a giant ocean mural, and scoring big with sea-themed volleyball or soccer.

For tweens 12-14 Years, Circle ‘C’® is s can hang out, meet new friends, and enjoy some pretty awesome activities like dance parties, games, outdoor movies and more, in the special Circle ‘C’® area or around the ship.

Teens aren’t forgotten either. There’s Club 02™, a special teen hangout for 15-17-year-olds where they can watch movies, play their tunes, enter a gaming comp or join in a karaoke jam session. With mocktails and dance parties, a family cruise is guaranteed to put a smile on a teenager’s face. Which, let’s face it, is no mean feat!

Best of all, their counselors, each with education or childcare experience, are there to make sure everyone in these small groups has an amazing time.

Need a babysitter? Just because you’ve got kids onboard doesn’t mean you can’t have a late-night date night either! Carnival’s Night Owls babysitting service has the kids in good hands. For a nominal fee, kids 12-months to 11-years can fun it up with others their age until as late as midnight!

Now that sounds like the perfect opportunity to have a lovely romantic dinner, take in a show and just enjoy yourself. Alone. As in, you get to eat that steak while it’s still hot. Bliss.



Let’s be real, we don’t need eight reasons to go on a family cruise, the food alone is convincing enough.

Kids want food. Constantly. Especially on holidays. But nothing ruins a relaxing vacation quicker than hearing “Mum I’m hungry” for the 48th time before 10am.

Yet while kids like food, they don’t like THAT food. As in the meal you’ve lovingly prepared for them. The same food that they loved yesterday. Enter Carnival Cruise’s bountiful buffets where the kids can eat to their heart’s content and are guaranteed to find something they enjoy.

Of course, there’s plenty of delicious fine-dining delights for adults too. However, for most parents, the idea of no food prep for multiple days is a dream come true.

Now just imagine you decided to go on your family cruise during the festive season. Oh my, the idea of a Christmas Day lunch or dinner where mum gets to sit down and join in the fun – AMAZING! Forget slaving over a turkey feast or bickering over who will bring the trifle, simply pull up a chair at the fine dining restaurant Nouveau or the delectable Chef’s Table and let someone else do all the work (including the dishes).

fine dining food on family cruise ship


Most kids wouldn’t have a clue what gifts they received for Christmas two years ago. But holiday memories and photos last a lifetime.

Instead of spending a fortune on LOL dolls and remote-controlled cars, which will be old news and broken by New Year’s Day, put your Christmas cash into a family cruise.

Forget battling the Christmas shopping crowds to buy more stuff the kids don’t really need (that you’ll spend the rest of the year tripping over and packing away, invest in memories instead. They are priceless … and you won’t accidentally step on them in the middle of the night.

Whatsmore, if you jump onboard a Carnival Cruise ship, the kids can create truly magical memories of green eggs and ham, thanks to their Seuss At Sea™ onboard activities. It brings the whimsical and wonderful world of Dr. Seuss straight to the starboard bow.

And in the spirit of Grinchmas — the only one at sea — you’re in for lots of extra fun! Taking a page from Dr. Seuss’ classic book, The Grinch himself will join you at sea during this most merry time. He’ll make surprise appearances throughout your holiday, so keep your eyes peeled.

There are character parades, interactive storytime and Seuss-inspired art and craft activities that are sure to create a lifetime of extra-special memories. You can even have green eggs and ham for breakfast!

Dr Seuss carnival cruises


Okay, so you’re a stickler for tradition and you’re anxious about missing out on all those little things you treasure about Christmas. The lights, the tree, the carol singing, Christmas dress-ups, the letters to Santa, the Christmas crafts and Christmas movies. Well, guess what? It’s all on board.

Guests will gather for caroling around the tree. Fashionistas can try their luck in an Ugly Sweater Competition. And an extra-special, live-on-stage Holiday Show puts everyone in the spirit.

mum central

And the best part? You can enjoy it without having to fight with tinsel, wrestle with knotted lights and clean up glitter. Instead of running around like a Christmas mad mum, you’ll be popping your feet up and watching a Chrissy movie with the kids on the big screen (with a cocktail in your hand). You can even stay outdoors and watch a movie from the pool!

And, of course, there will be a special appearance from the man in the red suit. What better place to get your Santa pics done than en-route to a tropical island? Perfect!

Christmas snowman on the beach


A family cruise on Carnival really is the BEST VALUE for money. How many times have you booked a budget family holiday only to end up spending an absolute packet on eating out, entertaining the kids and other annoying extras?

Whereas the price of a family cruise includes accommodation, food and entertainment. How good is that? Particularly when the entertainment includes game shows, comedy nights, stage shows, live music, karaoke and more!

Plus, if you do the math, a family cruise at Christmas is probably cheaper than staying at home. No matter how you celebrate, Christmas adds up. Never-ending Christmas parties, Kris Kringle gifts, Santa sacks, food, decorations, stocking stuffers, gifts galore, and of course the budget-exploding extravagance that is Christmas lunch.

On a Christmas cruise, it’s all paid for. Food, entertainment, holiday, movies, kids’ clubs and a special food extravaganza on Christmas Day. It’s surprisingly affordable when you compare it to your usual Christmas expenses.

Stage show Carnival cruises


Families change. Sometimes the way we celebrate or the way in which we holiday needs to as well. Traditions are great, but sometimes they can get a little painful. A Christmas Cruise may be just what you need to put the fun back into your Christmas celebrations and family vacations.

Waking up in different destinations, exploring new places together, meeting new people. It might be just what you need to revive your family’s enthusiasm for Christmas.

beautiful scenery on board cruise ship


Christmas Day can go by in a blur of rushing to visit relatives and moving mountains to keep in-laws appeased. Imagine not even having to get in the car on Christmas Day? No strapping kids in and driving for hours. No Christmas traffic.

On a Christmas cruise, everyone can sleep in and when it’s time to meet up, simply wander out to the deck or into one of the ship’s glorious dining areas. No loading the car up, just unpack once and put those tired feet up. So. Darn. Simple.

pool onboard carnival cruise


Yep, on a family cruise “me time” actually exists. While the kids are safely playing with their new mates in the kids’ club, you get to enjoy some solid alone time in the adults-only Serenity™ Retreat.

Or, if you’re looking for the next level in relaxation – unwind in Carnival’s Cloud 9 Spa™*. Surrender to the masters of zen, bliss out while therapists trained in the art of indulgent massages, facials, body wraps and more work their magic on you.

Carnival Cloud 9 spa

Alternatively, simply read a book, soak in a hot tub, see a show, take a nap … or just, ya know, think in silence and use the bathroom alone.

Rest assured, the kids will be having such a good time (seriously, the kids’ club program is something else!) there’s no need to feel guilty. Sip your cocktail and watch the world go by, you’ve earned it mum.

A family cruise really is the bee’s knees and a cruise at Christmas, well, that’s even better. We can’t think of a more relaxing way to spend time with the family. Do it. It’s guaranteed to float your boat.

woman relaxing on cruise ship

Fancy the idea of taking to the seas with your family?

Discover why jumping on board a Carnival family cruise at Christmas is a great idea and check out the different Christmas Cruises that Carnival Cruises has to offer. There really is something for everyone.

“Not home for the holidays” has a special ring about it, don’t you think?

Right now, Carnival has some great specials to take advantage of, particularly during the Christmas season. Come on over and have a squizz, you might like what you find!

find out more about Carnival Cruises family cruises

This is a sponsored post for Carnival Cruises


* Cloud 9 Spa™ is exclusive to the Splendor vessel, Carnival’s newest and largest ship which is sailing from December 2019.
Avatar of Jillian Berry

Jillian Berry is the exhausted mother of four spirited daughters. Once a journo and editor, she now enjoys torturing her children with zucchini. When she’s not searching for her phone charger, she can be found trying to remember her password, which she only reset yesterday. She fantasizes about escaping to a remote island with her Kindle and a giant jar of Nutella. She’s also a (provisional) psychologist who’d love to make the world a better place, if only she could find the energy.

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